What analysts expect from the Opec meeting on Thursday

 
Jessica Morris
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Opec is gathering in Vienna (Source: Getty)

Delegates from the increasingly divided Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) will be hoping for a quiet meeting on Thursday.

The gathering will mark the first meeting since Opec and non-Opec members failed to agree a production freeze deal in April. This was largely due to a long-running enmity between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Read more: What Saudi Arabia's new economic vision means for Opec's June meeting

"The best outcome they can hope for is a meeting that passes without too much evidence of disagreement," Richard Mallinson, geopolitical risk analyst at Energy Aspects, told City A.M.

"We don't think any substantive agreement is going to emerge from the talks... we see little appetite among the key countries to have another go at overcoming the differences and divisions within the group," he added.

Sebastien Marlier, a senior commodities editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit, added: "I don't think the markets really expect much from this Opec meeting, so it's not going to move prices in any significant way either."

Thursday will also be the first Opec meeting for Saudi Arabia's new oil minister, former chief executive and chairman of state-owned Saudi Aramco Khalid al-Falih. He was chosen by the deputy Crown prince who appears to be increasing his ownership of the Kingdom's oil affairs.

Read more: Opec boss warns world needs $65 oil to avoid price shocks

"We expect continuity [from Saudi] more than anything else. If anything ... they'd rather increase production in the short-term to maintain market share," Marlier added.

He pointed to a resurgent Iran, the Kingdom's need to maintain market share ahead of a potential initial public offering next year and economic reforms which leave little incentive to keep oil in the ground.

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